Shoot your shot? Take a chance? Society bombards us with messages, phrases, examples and stories of how taking risk is the key to success, but is anything ever that simple? We asked some of the brightest folks we know to tell us about how they think about risk. We’ve shared their responses below.

Olivia Hall | Intimate Wedding & Elopement Photographer

I certainly think risk is why I am living a happy life today. I grew up with the mindset of go to school, get a good paying job, and live a safe comfortable life. So that’s what I did. I went to nursing school, eventually became an Assistant Nurse Manager in a local hospital, and made good enough money to buy myself a house at 22. After many years of doing that, the stress and emotional toll of the job was bleeding into my personal life. When I could no longer be the happy, present mom to my son, that is when I knew I needed a change. Read more>>

Zola Stone | Singer, Model/Actress & Artist

Life for me has always been about risk. Growing up with a single mother from the Philippines wasn’t easy and I give my mom props for being the strong woman she is to take risks everyday to survive. Being born and raised in Minneapolis, I always wanted more for myself because I struggled with being bullied in school, anxiety, depression and sexual abuse. At a young age I knew once I turned 18 I would flee to Los Angeles and pursue my dreams in the entertainment industry. Read more>>

Christen Arafeh | College Admissions Advisor & Scholarship Strategist

There’s a popular saying that goes something like “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” and I’ve never heard anything more true. If you continue doing the same ol’ thing every day, you will continue getting the same ol’ results, and if you’re not happy with the current sameness of your situation or you dream of more, do more! Read more>>

Karina Benninger | Solo Hiker & Outdoor Advocate

I think that risk is an inherent part of our everyday lives whether we choose to recognize that or not. You take risks by taking on a challenge because you might fail, but you also take a risk by doing nothing at all – you risk remaining stagnant or missing out on something you really want. Read more>>

Heather Zigler | Transformation Life Coach

Buying a one-way airline ticket, flying to a new country days later with no plans and little knowledge about the country itself. Not knowing what is going to happen from one moment to the next. Not being controlled by an agenda, but rather, being in tune with what moves your heart and soul. Being present in the moment and deciding freely what experience you would like next…. Read more>>

Veronica Barriga | Reporter & Film Producer

My life has been all about taking risks. At 17 I graduated high school early and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor. I started by doing extra work in film and TV, eventually it led to hosting red carpets, and interviewing more celebrities than I can count. Read more>>

Rachel Nelson | Full-Time RV’er & Content Creator

I would consider myself to be a bigger risk taker than most. Being widowed at the age of 27, I learned that things can change in an instant. Fast forward to 2021 when CoVid hit and I was once again reminded that nothing in this life is guaranteed. We can’t control everything, but we can take the risks and live a life with purpose and experience. My now husband and I decided to sell our home, his business and pack up and travel full-time with our young daughters. I felt a calling to grow our bond as a family and treasure this time together while they are young. Living in 400 sq’ and being around each other 24/7 is definitely not always easy (!!), but we are able to show them places they normally wouldn’t see and teach them through experiences. Read more>>

Mariam Pacheco | Small Business Owner

To me, risks are an inherent part of life and self improvement. Without the ability to take on risks, I believe growth is restricted and remains stagnant. Personally, I’m super impulsive and tend to be a little riskier than most. I definitely try and continuously push my limits and see how things go. Of course its good to always try and have a safety net when taking risks, but its not always attainable. Sometimes you just have to trust yourself and the universe to guide you. Of course starting a business is in itself a risk. I saved up for about 2 years, even working 3 jobs in 2021, to be able to harness enough funds to take Kira Kira off the ground. Read more>>

Shaylan Richardson | Educator

When I think about risk, I think about how uncomfortable it can be to take risks. I think it’s uncomfortable because of the uncertainty and the fear of failure. I once read a quote that said that people will choose a familiar hell over an unknown heaven. Sadly there’s some truth in that statement. We tend to be creatures of habit that like routine and knowing what to expect. We become complacent and content with the status quo. Read more>>

Perry Skegness | Photographer & Creative Director

Life is a series of choices, considering this, life is a risk. I’m always down to new adventures and I’m never worried about what is gonna happen next. Taking risks has pushed my life to travel more, meet new people and to try different types of photography. But the best part of everything, is that I’ve been constantly learning new things that have helped my career and my personal life. Read more>>

Jessalyn Italiano | Restaurateur

The term “risk” has always felt very subjective to me. Something may feel risky to one person, but perhaps not to another. Which makes for great discussion! During my post-graduation time of my life when I was applying for Graduate school and working two jobs, I made what felt like a pretty risky decision. I decided to forego graduate school and take over ownership of a restaurant that I was currently working for – Caffe Boa! When it comes to risk, I always trust my intuition and decide on what feels most right. Even in times when intuition isn’t on track, it’s an opportunity to learn and grown. Read more>>

Bradley Chavez | Realtor & Real Estate Entrepreneur

I believe risk taking is very important and necessary on the road to many achievements, but when I say that I mean take smart and knowledgable risk, not go gamble your savings account on a casino on a Saturday night hoping to win it all! Risk taking is the foundation of something new and possibly something bigger. If you know how to handle your risks and learn from them throughout success or failure, I don’t think someone could ever go wrong by taking them. Read more>>

Skyler Bergstrom | Personal Trainer

If I am being honest, leaving my comfort zone has been a risk I was always scared to take. As humans we tend to be creatures of habit and stay where we are most comfortable. When I look back at it, I am so grateful that I found the courage to take a risk and start my own business. In 2018 I graduated from Pima Medical Institute with a certificate in Veterinary Assisting. After working in the field for 6 months I quickly realized that it isn’t where I belong. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had the dream of wanting to help people. Read more>>

Leigha Kelly-Knight | Artist and small business owner

Taking risks can be scary and the word “risk” carries a bad connotation with the fear of failure looming overhead. I am a middle school art teacher, an artist and the owner of Kestrel Kreative, a small pet brand. If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that risks also equal rewards! I don’t know if it is possible to be an artist or run a creative small business without risks, it’s the nature of the beast and something I have come to enjoy grappling with. Read more>>

Sean Hall | Founder and CEO of Wellious

When it comes to career growth and entrepreneurship you’re bombarded with the term “Risk” constantly. It’s often given a daunting connotation; and in my world of starting businesses from the ground up, people would often say my path is super high risk. I think of Risk a little differently. To me, real “risk” is jumping out of an airplane. Where the downside is my shoot doesn’t open and I get 5 minutes of just waiting to splatter on the ground. Read more>>

Rico Penn | Multi-Talented Artist

I personally think risk taking is very important because most things you do in life requires you to take a risk. I had to sacrifice plenty of things in my life just to be where I’m at, it was a core piece and the decision I made was to take that risk to get to where I am now. I had to go through lots of arguments with my parents because of the decision I made to be a creative/artist. Read more>>

Priscilla Tooley | Horse Trainer and Instructor

For a long time I avoided risk. I went to school, got good grades, finished college, got a good job. But the first day at my first job, I sat down at my desk with my assignment, and I realized I was in the wrong place. I’d done all the safe things, all the right things, and I wasn’t happy with the outcome. As soon as I realized the life I wanted wasn’t going to come from others, that I had to create it, I began taking risks. At first, risk to me meant putting myself out there. Read more>>

Sam Sharman | NFT Artist & Musician | Producer | Entrepreneur

I think that if we consider the role our intuition plays in taking risks, we actually come out with an equation that looks something like: confidence born of preparation + faithful action + unattachment = (r)evolutionary life steps. Now the outcome might not look like what you envisioned; nonetheless, the process has spit you out into an evolved position on your life path. Risk is everything. Read more>>

Brittany Moberg | Business Entrepreneur & Lifestyle Coach

It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zones. We play it safe by not taking risks and stepping into the unknown zone. I’ll be the first to admit that taking risks will make us feel uncomfortable sometimes. It’s not easy not knowing the outcome or what will happen next, but to me, that’s exactly WHY I love taking risks. It’s so exciting and exhilarating. Taking those chances is the only way to grow. I believe we are put on this earth to experience so much growth and take on new opportunities that cross our paths but we must be willing to take steps forward to see what’s available to us on the way. Read more>>

lori judd | Professional Organizer and Move Manager

There is risk in everyday life. When it comes to working for a “company” that is the biggest risk of all. This might sound brash but Know one is safe when it comes to working with corporate America. I decided way back that I was always going to be in control of my work, whom I work with and for and how much of an impact I will have in my field with my piers and competition. Read more>>

Jason Byars | Artist

When I think about risk, I think about immediate and long term effects. How will this play out if it goes terrible or great? Am I prepared to take a lose if that’s what it comes to. With great risk comes great reward should you come out on top of whatever risk being assessed. Read more>>